Absence of motorcycles in Highway Code review ‘unforgivable’

10.17 | 31 July 2020 | | 5 comments

The Motorcycle Action Group has expressed outrage at the ‘lack of consideration’ for motorcyclists in the latest review of the Highway Code.

Announced by the Government earlier this week, the review is designed to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.

Among the alterations is a new hierarchy of road users to ensure those who can do the ‘greatest harm’ have the ‘greatest responsibility’ to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.

However, it makes no reference to motorcyclists – who statistics show are the most at-risk road user group.

Newly-published casualty figures for 2019 highlight that in terms of fatality rate per billion passenger miles, motorcycles were the most vulnerable (113.3), followed by pedestrians (34.1) and cyclists (29.4).

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) says the review is a shocking demonstration of the lack of care for motorcyclists.

Colin Brown, MAG’s director of campaigns and political engagement, said: “As motorcyclists, we have to face the accusations and vilification of our legitimate choice of transport mode, whilst simultaneously suffering a near complete lack of interest in making the roads safer for us.  

“We take no issue with moves to improve safety for other road users, but this systemic and sustained process of turning a blind eye to the needs of motorcyclists is unforgivable.

“It is little wonder that motorcyclists get angry about this kind of thing, and we fully share their outrage.  

“We consistently campaign for improved motorcycle safety and bend over backwards to support the limited number of initiatives designed to reduce motorcycle casualties, but the mere title of this consultation reveals the depth of the problem we face. 

“How can it be that the most vulnerable road user group is the one road user group that is ignored?

“We are calling on the DfT to immediately revise the wording of the announcement to include motorcyclists, and then to develop meaningful discourse on what amendments can be made to the Highway Code to help improve the safety of riders.”



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    Point taken, Andy. I am not saying that motorcyclists should not be given suitable consideration. My point is in the first instance what actions have they taken (or are they recommending) to take care of their own safety because when all is said and done – rules or no rules – your safety is in your hands, no one elses. And, of course, the problem is that even with rules you (not you personally) are being naieve if you think that everyone else is going to abide by them. Goes back to Lord Montague of Beaulieu writing in 1906 where he said that it is your job, not the other man’s to avoid danger. It’s as true today as it was then and therefore still a sound basis of remaining safe on the roads, bikes, cars or whatever. I am sure you will agree with that.

    Nigel ALBRIGHT
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    Points noted, Pat, and fair comment. Rightly or wrongly I feel that too many motorcyclists, in general, feel there is some sort of loss of faith, or kudos, by ‘succumbing’ to an advanced course or test. It sort of goes against the testosterone psyche. I have been a motorcyclist and done advanced courses and what I learned was literally life-saving. As someone once said, ‘Those who will not learn are no better off than those who can not learn’. Conversely, I knew a police driving instructor who had been in the job for some twenty years and he still had the attitude of wanting to see if anyone knew or understood something which he didn’t. That, I believe, was why he was amongt the best of his breed.

    Nigel ALBRIGHT
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    With respect Nigel, how many pedestrians or cyclists have done any form of even basic training to reduce their vulnerability, yet they are still deemed worthy of extra consideration

    Andy, Warwick
    Agree (5) | Disagree (0)

    Good point Nigel, I thought the straight forward (and fairly cheap) Bikesafe course run by police motorcyclists well worth doing.

    However it does not take away from MAG’s point that the Government and Establishment in general suffers from ‘tokenism’ in that they sometimes say nice but vague things about P2Ws being part of a transport policy but fail to deliver anything effective to support the P2W riders.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (6) | Disagree (0)

    In the interest in improving safety I wonder how many MAG members have taken advanced courses, the sole purpose of which is to reduce vulnerability.

    Nigel ALBRIGHT
    Agree (3) | Disagree (3)

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